On a messageboard today, I was asked by a McCain supporter whether I truly believe Obama was the best choice for the Democrats to nominate in this election. Here was my response to him:
I can only speak for myself, but I honestly think that Obama is about the best candidate the Dems have put up in a very long time. I started out as a Hillary supporter. I even had a bumper sticker and a T-shirt as far back as the middle of last year.
But when Obama came along, he won me over very quickly with his frankness, honesty, charisma, and vision for change.
I really identify strongly with that last part especially - the promise of change and freshness after 8 years of Bush.
I honestly see this election as voting for fresh, new, and different, or voting for old and institutionalized. We've already tried the old and institutionalized - and its given us a very bad 8 years.
Do we want to try something else now, or do we want to simply vote for a new person with old ideas, hoping that, somehow, this time the result will be different?
McCain can try to push his "maverick" theme all he wants, but the Senate record doesn't lie - he's voted along Bush policies and platforms 90% of the time. That's not being a maverick, that's being a rubber stamper.
Obviously, if someone thinks Bush has done a fine job, then they will have no problem with McCain, and Obama is certainly not trying to get those people's votes. But they only represent (in the most recent polls) 27% of Americans. Bush has nearly a 70% disapproval rating. That bodes very, very badly for McCain, unless he can convince people that 90% unity with Bush doesn't really make him Bush III.